Sukarno (sōōkär´nō), 1901–70, Indonesian statesman, first president of Indonesia. A leader of the radical nationalist movement founded in 1927, he was jailed and exiled by the Dutch at various times in the 1930s. During World War II, Sukarno cooperated with the Japanese when Indonesia was occupied by them, while still continuing his agitation for Indonesian independence. After the war he and Mohammad Hatta played a crucial part in the establishment (Aug., 1945) of the Republic of Indonesia. In the 1950s, Sukarno attempted to consolidate his multi-island nation. He established (1956) a "guided democracy," with a cabinet that represented all political parties. Regional and factional problems, however, led him, in July, 1959, to dissolve the constituent assembly and assume full dictatorial powers. In 1962, Sukarno ordered sporadic raids on Dutch New Guinea, intensifying a conflict that resulted in UN intervention; his action, however, brought Dutch New Guinea under Indonesian administration in May, 1963. Sukarno, who proclaimed himself president for life in 1963, increased his country's ties to Communist China in the late 1950s and 60s and admitted increasing numbers of Communists and pro-Communists to his government. In 1963 he announced his opposition to the British-sponsored Federation of Malaysia and withdrew (1965) Indonesia from the United Nations after Malaysia took its seat on the Security Council. An attempted coup late in 1965, which was blamed on the Communists, led to a military takeover in Indonesia by General Suharto, who replaced Sukarno as effective ruler of Indonesia. In 1966, Sukarno was stripped of his title of president for life. He remained under house arrest until his death. Megawati Sukarnoputri is his daughter.

See C. L. M. Penders, The Life and Times of Sukarno (1974); J. D. Legge, Sukarno (2d ed. 1985).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Sukarno: Selected full-text books and articles

Shared Hopes, Separate Fears: Fifty Years of U.S.-Indonesian Relations By Paul F. Gardner Westview Press, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. Six "The Dulles Brothers and Sukarno" and Chap. Eight "Kennedy, Johnson, and Sukarno's 'Continuing Revolution'"
Southeast Asia: Past & Present By D. R. SarDesai Westview Press, 1997 (4th edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. Twenty-Two "Indonesia: Unity Amid Diversity, the Sukarno Era"
Indonesia: The Crisis of the Millstones By Benjamin Higgins; George W. Hoffman; G. Etzel Pearcy Van Nostrand, 1963
Librarian's tip: Chap. IX "Sukarno and the Army"
Islam in Indonesian Foreign Policy By Rizal Sukma Routledge Curzon, 2003
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Islam in Sukarno's Foreign Policy (1945-1966)"
The Changing Interpretation of Religious Freedom in Indonesia By Kim, Hyung-Jun Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 29, No. 2, September 1998
A Nation in Waiting: Indonesia's Search for Stability By Adam Schwarz Allen & Unwin, 1999 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Growing Pains"
The Wages of Globalism: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of American Power By H. W. Brands Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. Six "Bloody Good Luck"
United States Policy towards Indonesia in the Truman and Eisenhower Years By Andrew Roadnight Palgrave Macmillan, 2002
Librarian's tip: "Sukarno Barnstorms America" begins on p. 136
The East Wind Subsides: Chinese Foreign Policy and the Origins of the Cultural Revolution By Andrew Hall Wedeman Washington Institute Press, 1987
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Sukarno begins on p. 190
Brinkmanship and Deterrence Success during the Anglo-Indonesian Sunda Straits Crisis, 1964-1966 By Kwan, Toh Boon Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 36, No. 3, October 2005
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